Thursday, April 30, 2009

While I know that the dandelion is often considered a pernicious weed, I think of it as the sky-flower. In the beginning, it resembles the sun; later, it looks like the moon; but close up, the moon is made of stars. Here it is in its night form. Using the Blue Tint effect and then taking levels to its extremes, its rendered down to its essence and looks like fireworks or some sort of cosmic stellar event.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We have a small wild cherry in our sideyard. This branch was caught between the slats of our battered fence. Accented Edges increased the contrast a bit and added a painterly effect.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Alas, today was one of those times when the photo I thought I took wasn't the one that came out of the camera. In Real Life, the nascent leaves glowed both above the water and reflected in it. The photo, though, is muddy and nothing is distinct. I'm not sure the effects really salvaged the shot, but they did separate the leaves from the water. I used Posterize and Color Fade Vertical (I flipped the photo first so it would fade where I wanted it to, then flipped it back.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Over the weekend, the trees lit up in shades of pale green, lime, baby pink and creamy white. A combination of the Oil Pastel effect and the Posterize filter brings out the way the trees edging Paper Goods Pond, seem to glow from within.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I posted yesterday that apple trees were not blooming here yet. I was wrong. Since last Tuesday, the trees in the orchard have exploded in to glorious pink blossoms. The Ink Outlines filter given emphasis to both the joyous color and the laciness of the flowers.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

These flowers look like apple blossoms, but apples aren't blooming here yet. The trees are planted in a bleak parking lot in a strip mall, and they're just covered with these luminous flowers. The Accented Edges filter make the petals and the leaves glow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tonight, we went to a production of Godspell at a local church. At one point, I reached for my camera to find that -GASP-I'd left my camera at home. Fortunately, I had my cell phone. I was able to snap this shot of the climax. Obviously, it's not a high quality photo; but the Watercolor filter smooths out some of the more glaring imperfections, such as the colored artifacts and the blurriness.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Only a few of the Easter lilies at church are still unfaded. Using the Old Photo effect gives the impression of the lily having been painted on linen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My little AeroGarden at work is now growing mini-geranium, marigold and mimulus. I had no idea what mimulus was--until it bloomed. This is a mumulus. (I assume that two flowers would be mimuli.) The Dry Brush filter gives it a softer watercolor painting look.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fog hung over the orchard this afternoon. Using the Pencil Sketch effect gives the photo an extra sense of dampness and mist.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vinca is a shy flower. Its blossoms nestle quietly behind the shiny leaves that creep along the ground in the shade. The Charcoal filter, applied at a partial opacity, coaxes the flowers out of hiding.

Phew! Now I'm caught up!

We arrived home yesterday to find that the magnolia next to the house had exploded into bloom. A combination of Colored Pencil and Sumi-E accentuates their exuberance.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Woodstock, New York is one of my favorite places in the whole world. There's a spirit of spontaneity, freedom and acceptance there. These young muscians, playing on the sidewalk Saturday afternoon, are a good example of that feeling. In that same vein, I played randomly with filters to see how I could release their enthusiasm and elan. I ended up with a combination of Radial Blur, Diffuse Glow, and Flourescent Crayon.

On Friday, we walked out to the Saugerties Lighthouse, a squat brick building that sits on a point jutting into the Hudson River. Apparently, the lighthouse is still active, and a keeper and his/her family lives there. They have a geranium in their window. The reds of the potted plant and the brick stood out in my eye, so I accentuated them by desaturating all the other colors.

Well, one certainly doesn't have Internet access when one forgets to bring the computer! And, really, that's not such a bad thing: we spent four days unconnected--no Internet, no TV, no radio. During the day, we hiked and biked and poked around Woodstock. In the evening, we sat at the campfire and later did some reading in our little trailer. Saturday night, we had friends over for chili. All of life's stresses just unwound.

It does leave me with some catching up to do. This is the photo for Thursday, April 16. While my husband was hitching the camper to the truck, I was on my belly on the lawn, taking pictures of daffodils. I'd never looked at the back of a daffodil before. I loved the way the morning light lit up the centers. Using the Colorful Centers effect accentuated the flower's natural glow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Once, when my kids were small, and Things just weren't working out as we'd hoped, and I said, "OK, so we go to Plan D," I heard a plaintive voice from my son: "Have we EVER done Plan A?"

No, not as I can ever recall. And not to this day. Tomorrow, we are leaving on a camping trip to Woodstock NY that was supposed to have been a trip to Assateague MD beginning on Monday. Plan A got scrapped due to problems with the truck, problems with my foot and dismal weather forecasts. As alternatives, we entertained thoughts of Gettysburg, Cape Hatteras, the Poconos, the Shenendoah Valley, Vermont, New Hampshire and even one desperate consideration of driving like maniacs to Florida. In the end, a few days in Woodstock sounded great. We're just looking forward to getting away and being outside--the first camping trip of the season.

I will take pictures everyday, but I don't know that I'll be able to post them until we get back. But I promise I'll get them up when we return home.

On a bike ride today, I passed some exuberant forsythia and stopped to take a picture with my little P&S. As I was clicking away, I heard a rustling sound. When I peered into the underbrush, I spied this funky-eared bunny. It froze as soon as it realized I was aware of its presence. Clearly, nature does a good job of camouflage: in the dappled light, the rabbit and the brush (as well as the garbage) blend in perfectly.
I wanted to make the bunny stand out, but I also didn't want to lose the sense of watchful secrecy. I applied the Chalk and Charcoal filter, then used the eraser to add back just a touch of color to the fur and ears.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring in New England can be discouraging in that it never seems to come. Winters in Connecticut are not severe; they're just looooooong. The weather's been raw and damp and grey. Outside the library, this magnolia seemed to sense it was time to bloom by the calendar, but didn't have the courage to open up all the way when the temps still dip below freezing at night.

What I like about the image is the texture: the soft crumpled surface of the blossom and the fuzz on the grey part that protected the bud. Filters didn't do much for this image. Using Grain enhances the textures, but it's subtle.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A pair of mallards were drifting on Paper Goods Pond this evening. Combining Posterize and Palette Knife highlighted both the serene paddling of the duck and the stirring of the water behind him.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This is the stunning rose window that's over the altar at St. Dominic's, one of the two churches we attend. I started to play around with filters and then I realized: this is a beautiful work of art. To try to alter it would be hubris. It is perfect as it is.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This Easter lily was on the altar of our church tonight. The simple shapes and bold colors of this close-up reminded me of some of the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe. I used Diffuse Glow and a touch of Gaussian Blur to try to bring it closer to her style of art.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Daffodils are my favorite flower (well, them and Lily-of-the-valley); and we wait for them for SO long here in New I couldn't resist one more photo. This was taken in our yard, where they have burst into exuberant bloom. I really didn't think that the original needed anything, but for the sake of the project, I played around with filters anyway. I like the Sumi-E played up the color and luminescence of the flower.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm still getting used to my new camera. My old ones always went back to default settings when they were turned off; this one maintains the setting that was being used. I've been exploring and using all the settings more than I used to with the other camera--but I also always forget to set it back afterwards. That's a disadvantage when I just grab the camera for a shot. My grandson, Aidan, was over tonight, and he's a bit camera shy. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten I'd had the flash turned off. Only one or two of the photos I got were in focus, and none of them perfectly so. A combination of Dark Strokes and Palette Knife made the blurred areas blend into the whole and highlighted the glowing intensity of his concentration.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Here in Connecticut, there's a pretty even division between sports fans who support New York teams and those who favor Boston. When it comes to basketball, however, EVERYONE roots for the University of Connecticut. One of the reasons there were so few people at the town budget hearing last night was that it was scheduled at the same time that the women were playing in the final game of the NCAA championship. Some things are just sacred! We won, completing an undefeated season.

I didn't notice this until I was sharpening the picture, but the New Britain Herald (for some reason that must have to do with sheer oblivion) featured the men's team--which lost at their bid a few days ago--under the headline about the women's victory. Nonetheless, I like the the shout of the red headline and newsbox, so I highlighted it by rendering the rest in B&W.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our town is still small enough that we have an annual budget meeting, where the citizens have the opportunity to ask questions and comment on proposed spending for the upcoming year. Here's a slice of small town life: the mayor seated at the table, the town manager and superintendent of schools chatting with townspeople, and a few folk reviewing the charts and tables before the meeting starts. Poster Edges made it into a sketch of local democracy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The weather is still raw and rainy; the daffodils outside haven't dared to bloom. I cut one to put in the little wall vase in the kitchen. With warmth, it promptly opened. Using a flash blew it out, but there's too much yellow in the original shot. The Colorful Center effect sowed up the flower's inner glow.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

This is an example of where what I saw and what the camera saw were two different things. There's a few days in early spring when the grass suddely turns a brilliant green, before anything else had budded. The green is so fresh and so bright amid all the grey and dull brown that it seems to glow. That's what I saw in the orchard today--swaths of luminescent grass running amid the rest of the dormant vegetation. The green caught and held my eye. But in the camera, the tangles of dead weeds and bare branches dominated. The Sponge filter simplifies all that unwanted detail so that the surprising green of the young grass stands out better.